Poland is Full

Przemysl, where we are living and working this week, is chock-a-block full of refugees. Word is that refugees coming by train from Ukraine will be having to stay at the train station to catch trains to other cities in and out of Poland and not coming to the TESCO processing and humanitarian center (where we are working) to wait to temporarily ”live” and for country assignments. The Polish staff who have jobs with WCK and work at TESCO were informed yesterday that their jobs would end by this coming Monday because operations will be shutting down. Things change. I think that Bruce, Sandy, and I luckily did not decide to come here later in May…not sure where WCK will be in operation then. I have real concerns about what will happen with the ”hard to place” refugees. In addition to some of the older people traveling alone, I am thinking about a number of relatively large Roma families. Their families will likely insist on staying intact, as well they should. there is, of course, widespread bias and discrimination against them and they may have some ways of doing things that conflict with existing national mores. The challenges of multiculturalism!!

We have met and assisted a number of groups taking supplies into Ukraine. To quote from one of these people —

“I wanted to thank you again for your donation. The first two months of this war were pretty hectic for us figuring out how to build these supply chains full of volunteers. Now we’ve got a pretty good hang of it. My groups have delivered hundreds of vans and trucks into Ukraine already. But now, everyone is running out of money for fuel. We’re trying to look west for larger, recurring donations from large companies. But acts of kindness like yours are the ones that have been allowing us to do our work. We can’t get food or medicine in unless the cars are fueled up. 
I heard you might be leaving Poland soon. I wanted to know if you have any questions about what we do or what others are doing getting aid into Ukraine. I’m on the weekly logistics calls with the UN. I’ve met with colonels from military hospitals in Ukraine. “

Today we met a lovely Ukrainian woman who works with internally displaced people in Lviv. She and her husband came to Przemysl so that they can become familiar with what their clients will face if they cross the border. (she is also quite a good singer.) she thanks all of you for your contributions.

My fun thing for the day…this 13 foot tall puppet came to visit yesterday… The kids loved it.

5 thoughts on “Poland is Full”

  1. Thanks for the updates, Helen. It’s good to hear so many details of the situation there and of your experiences.

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  2. Great report, Helen, and thanks for what you are doing, you brave woman. It must be unbelievable to be there in person. We’ve been cheering you on from here. all the best, Jim and Bridget Salty

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  3. Dear Helen and your two companions

    What you are doing is beyond any words to describe. Your kindness, generosity and energy for the task, your willingness to be there on the ground. I observed that you three got a lot more support than you expected. That’s not surprising. I wear a pin of the Ukrainian flag colors every day. God bless you.

    Charlotte Kaufman

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  4. Thanks for keeping us up to date on all you are doing there. I’m so proud of you three and know that you must be helping just by making contact with people, person to person. Hope your last days there go well!
    Melinda

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